Representin' The MA's
With another successful chapter of the event series in the books, it's a safe bet "UFC Fights for the Troops" will return in 2012. Following Saturday's second installment, which came in the form of UFC Fight Night 23 at Fort Hood in Texas, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund trustee Marty Edelman said a third event likely will take place next year. And for Edelman, who's helped raise millions for one of the world's most effective military-based foundations, improving the lives of soldiers is paramount. And that's what made fight week so satisfying. The UFC first teamed up with the IFHF in 2008 for the first "Troops" event. Through online initiatives and the night's Spike TV broadcast, the event raised nearly $5 million to help complete the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a research and treatment center for brain injuries that's located in Bethesda, Md. This year's take will help fund research that thus far has been sorely lacking. "We asked the government and Department of Defense what was needed, and it turned out traumatic brain injury is the signature wound of this war," said Edelman, who's also been involved in the IFHF's building of a center for amputees and accompanying family housing. "So we raised $65 million and built the traumatic brain injury center, and the UFC have been our partners in this endeavor from the beginning.
"They're devoted to America's troops, they come to these events, they help us create them, and we wouldn't be doing this without them today."
Immediately after Saturday's show, Edelman said more than $600,000 had been donated simply via phone lines during the Spike TV broadcast. Millions more are expected to come through online donations and other avenues, including a UFC-related auction, over the next few days. (Make a donation at www.fightforthetroops.com.)